Magazine Article


SP&D' s Guide to Media Cards & Flash Drives
Innovations, Improvements, and Enhancements

Media Cards
Kodak/Lexar CF Card (top left); Fujifilm xD-Picture Card (top right); Kingston CompactFlash Elite Pro (bottom left); Lexar Professional Series CF Card (bottom right)
Media Cards and Flash Drives
Olympus 1GB xD-Picture Card (top left); PNY Technologies Optima CF (top right); Iomega Mini USB 2.0 Drive (bottom)
Media Cards
SanDisk Extreme III
Flash Drive
Kingston Technology DataTraveler Elite
Flash Drive
Lexar JumpDrive Lightning
MediaGear XtraDrives (left); Pexagon Store-It Drive (right)
Flash Drive
Memorex M-Flyer USB Flash Drive
Flash Drives
PNY Technologies Attache
Sony MicroVault (left); SanDisk Cruzer Profile (right)


Lexar ( has expanded its Professional Series of flash memory cards and accessories by adding Professional Memory Stick PRO, speed rated at 80x, and High-Speed SD, speed rated at 60x, to its line.

The company also redesigned the packaging of the Professional Series of media cards. Lexar's Professional Series includes 80X CF, ActiveMemory CF and LockTight CF cards ranging in capacity from 512MB up to 4GB. Lexar also makes a 60x 8GB CF card.

Lexar's new LockTight CompactFlash cards utilize 160-bit encryption, using the SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm), a standard approved by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and one of the most accepted security solutions available. The LockTight system uses software to establish security settings for the memory card and all of its correspond ing digital camera(s). Users can only access the card's content via the digital camera, with the encryption key, or via a PC, using a valid username and password.

Olympus Imaging America

Olympus Imaging America ( has expanded the capacity of its xD-Picture cards to 1GB, which is notable because of its small form factor.

The 1GB xD-Picture Card is the first of the Type-M series of xD media designed to reach up to 8GB in capacity.


Panasonic ( offers a range of media cards, including the Pro High Speed Secure Digital cards and Super High Speed series Secure Digital memory cards. These cards fulfill the needs of photographers who need to shoot rapidly.

PNY Technologies, Inc.

PNY Technologies, Inc. ( introduced Optima CompactFlash cards and Optima Secure Digital cards with sustained read/write speeds of up to 12MB/10MB per sec (80X/66X) and 10MB/8MB per sec (60X/58X), respectively. The new Optima SD cards are available in capacities ranging from 128MB to 1GB, while the Optima CF cards range from 128MB to 4GB in capacity.

Simple Technologies

Simple Technologies ( recently added 1GB SD and MMC cards to its line, which also includes CompactFlash cards up to 4GB in capacity.


SanDisk's ( Extreme III line, which includes CompactFlash, Secure Digital, and Memory Stick Pro media, are the fastest of the company's media cards. In addition to read/write speeds with a minimum of 20MB/sec, Extreme III line cards are tested in extreme temperatures, so you can be assured they will work wherever your assignments take you.

The line is also designed for rugged use and backed by a lifetime warranty.


Earlier this year, Sony ( added a 4GB Memory Stick PRO media card to its line. The high-capacity card features increased durability for use in a wide range of temperature conditions.

Flash Drives a.k.a. Thumbdrives

Flash drives, thumbdrives, or keychain drives, as they are commonly called, allow you to carry a generous amount of content conveniently in a small form factor. Drive varieties include the upgradeable type, which has capacity limited only by the card within, and the embedded flash drive type, which features a fixed storage limit.

The diversity in features of these portable media storage devices is extensive. From sleek designs to bright and fun colors, encryption, and fingerprint technology, there is a range of products to appeal to everyone's tastes.


Dane-Elec's ( zMate Pen is a USB 2.0 flash memory drive in a range of capacities from 64MB to 8GB. The drives also feature data protection via the use of a password.


Iomega ( added the Mini 2GB USB 2.0 drive to its USB drive line. The drive, the size of a car key, features Security Lock data for protecting sensitive data; Active Disk Technology, enabling portable applications to launch and run from the drive without installation on the host PC; and a personalized window to help users keep track of information stored on the drive. The drive's interface technology gives users instant access to their files with read/write speeds up to 17 MB/sec and up to 14 MB/sec write speeds.